16 Top Spots for Food and Wine Lovers

Classes in session at Ballymaloe Cookery School. Ballymaloe Cookery School
We've gathered this selection of culinary hot spots from around the globe -- not just the finest dining establishments but some of the best local markets, cooking schools, seafood shacks, and vineyards.
View Next Slide
St. John restaurant, London. Locanda dell'Amorosa
Fergus Henderson is the opposite of a molecular gastronomist -- he doesn't make food delicate and tiny, he makes it big and sloppy. Market-fresh produce? He'd rather serve you a slab of freshly slaughtered meat. Reducing foods to their essence? Well, certainly -- that is, if you consider internal organs the most essential part of an animal.

Read more about this adventure
View Next Slide
Momofuku Ko restaurant Courtesy Momofuku
Like everything else in New York, culinary fashions come and go at the speed of light, but few chefs have blazed to stardom quite as quickly as David Chang. In some ways he's the Anti-Chef, still in his 30s with a buzz cut and profane language, committed to keeping his restaurants moderately priced and open to walk-in diners.

Read more about this adventure
View Next Slide
The iconic sign outside the Fat Duck. The Fat Duck
Heston Blumenthal wasn't the first teenager to be gobsmacked by the wonderful food on a family vacation in France. But Blumenthal took that gastro-epiphany to the level of obsession, hunkering down over French cookery books for endless hours.

Read more about this adventure
View Next Slide
Kitchen staff and patrons at Minibar restaurant Darko Zagar
Like many star chefs these days, José Andrés seems to be everywhere at once -- accepting awards, promoting his cookbooks and television shows, working to feed the homeless, overseeing his seven (count 'em, seven) restaurants in the Washington area. Considering that he's still only in his thirties, it's pretty impressive. When does he even find time to sleep?

Read more about this adventure
View Next Slide
Few summer pleasures are more congenial than tucking into a lobster dinner on the outdoor deck at Abbott's as the waters of Fisher's Island Sound gently slap the pilings beneath you. For some, visiting the most southeastern corner of Connecticut is about seeing the old restored ships at Mystic Seaport or cavorting whales and dolphins at the Mystic Aquarium; for lobster lovers, though, it's about dining on lobsters fresh off the boat in a clambake-casual waterside setting.<br><br><strong><a href="http://www.frommers.com/micro/2010/16-top-spots-for-food-and-wine-lovers/the-taste-of-summer.html" target="_blank">Read more about this adventure</a></strong> Abbott's in the Rough
Few summer pleasures are more congenial than tucking into a lobster dinner on the outdoor deck at Abbott's as the waters of Fisher's Island Sound gently slap the pilings beneath you. For some, visiting the most southeastern corner of Connecticut is about seeing the old restored ships at Mystic Seaport or cavorting whales and dolphins at the Mystic Aquarium; for lobster lovers, though, it's about dining on lobsters fresh off the boat in a clambake-casual waterside setting.

Read more about this adventure
View Next Slide
Exterior of the Locanda dell'Amorosa estate, Sinalunga, Italy. Locanda dell'Amorosa
In the Chiana valley, just east of Siena and south of Arezzo, an arrow-straight country lane lined with slim dark cypresses leads away from modern-day Sinalunga to a charming relic of Italy's rich agrarian past.

Read more about this adventure
View Next Slide
The grounds at Abbaye de Notre Dame de Scourmont at Chimay. Bières de Chimay
Belgium has raised the craft of brewing to a high art; its outsized reputation in the world of beer is completely disproportionate to its size, and owes almost everything to religious orders. Brewing operations are a major source of income, helping the monasteries fund their charitable activities. Because they're such strict religious communities, the breweries themselves aren't open to the public -- but with a little ingenuity, you can get close to the source.

Read more about this adventure
View Next Slide
The grounds of Castello Banfi encompass a Michelin-star restaurant, accommodations in stone cottages, and a Glass Museum. Castello Banfi
appears on the Tuscan horizon like a pink hilltop castle straight out of a fairy tale. A tall, slender Rapunzel-style tower overlooks a huge estate that reaches almost as far as the nearby Mediterranean. Within this authentic medieval fortress lies a cozy courtyard; outside lies a cluster of stone cottages with narrow vine-covered streets, a hamlet that clung to the castle walls in the dark ages. The estate holds vines, olive groves, wheat fields, plum orchards, and woodlands; within those same forests live wild boar, deer, pheasant, even truffles.

Read more about this adventure
View Next Slide
The public cellar of Via Manent, near Santa Cruz, Chile. Viu Manent
Aboard the train, riders lounge on Merlot-colored velvet seats and take in the Andean peaks rolling by as aproned stewards serve glasses of fine Chilean wine. This sleek set of restored rail carriages with polished brass fittings, elegant curtains, and white cloth-laid tables gently rattles through a valley populated by row upon row of vines puncuated with the odd farmyard and terra-cotta-topped house. This is undoubtedly the best way to arrive in the laid-back town of Santa Cruz.

Read more about this adventure
View Next Slide
Inside the Laphraoig Distillery Laphraoig Distillery
Half the malt distilleries in Scotland are sprinkled through the valley of the River Spey east of Inverness in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. The tourist board markets it as the Malt Whisky Trail, a route 113km (70 miles) long through the glens of Speyside, connecting several fine distilleries that accept visitors, usually from March through October.

Read more about this adventure
View Next Slide
Take Italy's fervent food culture and marry it to Milan's exquisite fashion and design aesthetic and presto!, you've got Peck, the world's most upscale delicatessen. Actually, "delicatessen" is a pretty feeble term to apply to this four-story food showcase. Over the years it's developed into a sleekly stylish and pricey showcase devoted to the foods of Italy. 
<br><br><strong><a href="http://www.frommers.com/micro/2010/16-top-spots-for-food-and-wine-lovers/the-italian-job.html" target="_blank">Read more about this adventure</a></strong> Courtesy Peck
Take Italy's fervent food culture and marry it to Milan's exquisite fashion and design aesthetic and presto!, you've got Peck, the world's most upscale delicatessen. Actually, "delicatessen" is a pretty feeble term to apply to this four-story food showcase. Over the years it's developed into a sleekly stylish and pricey showcase devoted to the foods of Italy.

Read more about this adventure
View Next Slide
Neal's Yard Dairy, London. Locanda dell'Amorosa
Great Britain's great cheese-making tradition has bounced back from near-extinction -- and that renaissance has at least in part been spurred on by London's two finest cheese purveyors, Paxton & Whitfield and Neal's Yard Dairy.

Read more about this adventure
View Next Slide
Macarons from Pierre Hermé in Paris, France. Pierre Hermé Paris
One true pleasure of a Paris vacation is finding your own divine patisserie, but there's no denying that two masters have set the bar in modern-day Paris; the ones who all others either emulate or defy.

Read more about this adventure
View Next Slide
Class at Ballymaloe Cookery School. Ballymaloe Cookery School
The word "idyllic" comes to mind upon sight of Ballymaloe's cozy farmstead. Just outside a small fishing village in county Cork, this collection of 18th-century cottages is surrounded by gardens and mossy orchards and, surrounding that, a flourishing organic farm. As rustic as the buildings look from the outside, once you step inside you'll find a smartly equipped culinary classroom with large windows, a phalanx of counters and chopping blocks, and cooktops ready for action.

Read more about this adventure
View Next Slide
Jasmine Rice Village Resort and Spa. Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School
Sompon Nabnian has been a local celebrity since 1993 when he and his English wife, Elizabeth, first launched this cooking school in northern Thailand's capital, Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai's distinctive regional cuisine incorporates accents from the southern Chinese who settled here centuries ago and the Burmese who ruled the region until 1775.

Read more about this adventure
View Next Slide
The Paradisa Plantation Retreat in the Cardamom Hills of southwestern India. Paradisa Plantation Retreat
The word "retreat" in the title couldn't be more apt, either. Guests stay in individual teak villas, built in traditional Kerala-style architecture and adorned with antique columns and intricate rosewood carvings. Each roomy villa has its own private setting and a stupendous view of the dense green hills overlooking a maharajah's former hunting grounds. You can swim in a footprint-shaped pool on a mountainside terrace, take yoga classes and ayurvedic treatments, play golf at a historic planter's club nearby, spot wild elephants and perhaps even tigers at the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary just over the hills.

Read more about this adventure
View Next Slide
advertisement
advertisement